George Plummer Burns

George Plummer Burns

The Rules for Landscaping Today is the birthday of the botanist George Plummer Burns who was born on this day in 1871. Burns was the chairman of the UVM botany department. He also had served as the superintendent of the park department for Burlington, Vermont. When I was researching Burns, I stumbled on a newspaper…

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A Song of October

by Phebe A. Holder The alder wears its scarlet beads, The clematis its downy seeds, The sumach’s deepening ruby gleams, The birch in hues of topaz beams; In golden bars through leafy doors The sunshine falls on forest floors, While the warm air with balsam breathes A spicy odor from the trees. The softened light,…

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Mother Nature’s Gifts

Mother Nature's Gifts

A Change of Seasons Mother Nature has blessed us yet again with a change of seasons. The fall season is a season of movement and transition. We are transitioning from hot to cold and wet to dry.  Ayurvedic health and wellness experts tell us that this is the time of year when, like the garden,…

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William Henry Chapman

William Henry Chapman

Symbolism of Trees Today is the anniversary of the death of the botanist William Henry Chapman who died on this day in 1970. Chapman was an American botanist, and his area of specialty was pomology or fruit. As a professor, Chapman taught at Cornell and later at UC Berkeley and UC Davis, where he was…

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Jamie Taggert

Jamie Taggert

A Risk For Plants On this day in 2013, Jamie Taggert, the young Scottish botanist, set out on a solo Plant Expedition to Vietnam. Jamie grew up with his botanist father, Jim, and tended the garden his dad founded – the Linn Botanic Gardens that overlooks Loch Long on Cove Bay in Scottland. The ancestors…

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Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh

Prisoner of the Tower of London On this day in 1618, Sir Walter Raleigh was executed.  On the orders of King James, Raleigh had been a special prisoner at the Tower of London for thirteen years. During his time in the tower, Raleigh was allowed to tend a small apothecary garden in the courtyard below.…

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Augustin Gattinger

Augustin Gattinger

Pioneer Botanist of Tennesee On this day in 1908, The Tennessean newspaper reported that the botanist Thomas G. Harbison was in Nashville to collect a specimen of the clematis gattingeri for Harvard. The gattingeri clematis was regarded as a scarce plant that had been discovered by Augustin Gattinger. Gattinger was known as the “Pioneer Botanist…

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Autumn Movement

Carl Sandburg

by Carl Sandburg I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts. The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper sunburned woman, the mother of the year, the taker of seeds. The northwest wind comes, and the yellow is torn full of holes, new beautiful things come in…

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Ian Hamilton Finlay

Ian Hamilton Finlay

Little Sparta Today is the birthday of the Scottish poet, artist, and gardener Ian Hamilton Finlay who was born on this day in 1925. Finlay created a one-of-a-kind garden that incorporated sculptures, words, architecture, and poetry. Finlay named his garden Little Sparta and the garden itself is considered a living piece of art. Finlay’s poetry…

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Gulielma Lister

Gulielma Lister

Queen of Slime Molds Today is the birthday of the original Queen of Slime Molds, Gulielma Lister, who was born on this day in 1860. Gulielma was born into a Quaker family in England, and her family and friends called her Gulie. Her mom and dad were a classic match of opposites. Her mother was…

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Edwin James

Edwin James

The Climb of Pikes Peak Today is the anniversary of the death of the botanist Edwin James who died on this day in 1861 As a young man, James compiled the very first Flora of Vermont plants. James went on one of the first expeditions of the American West from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains.…

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Alphonse Pyramus de Candolle

Alphonse Pyramus de Candolle

Father of Geographical Botany Today is the birthday of the botanist Alphonse Pyramus de Candolle, who was born on this day in 1806 the year Linnaeus died.   He was the son of the Swiss botanist Augustin Pyramus de Candolle. Candolle’s ground-breaking book, Origin for Cultivated Plantsbegins, “It is a common saying, that the plants with which…

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Katherine Brandagee

Katherine Brandagee

The Second Female Botanist Today is the 175th birthday of the botanist Katherine Brandagee who was born on this day in 1844. Brandagee was the third woman to enroll at Berkeley’s medical school and the second woman to be professionally employed as a botanist in the US. While getting her MD at Berkeley, Kate had…

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October’s Party

October’s Party

by George Cooper October gave a party; The leaves by hundreds came- The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples, And leaves of every name. The Sunshine spread a carpet, And everything was grand, Miss Weather led the dancing, Professor Wind, the band.   Note: The American Poet George Cooper remembered for his happy song lyrics, which were…

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